During the El Dorado Civitan meeting today Secretary of State mark Martin hounded repeatedly on his $3.2 million under budget record, using the feat as a rationale for spending $54,000-plus in hiring the Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics.
In a lightening fast, post-lunch interview Martin explained that hiring the firm was necessary to bring together the bi-partisan staff under him into one conducive unit.
“I think our budget speaks for itself,” he said, responding to a question about spending discretionary money in an anti-spending climate. “We came in at $3.2 million under budget.”
The number was a buzzword throughout both his talk and the interview and functions frequently as a talking point for him — made evident in a recent Democrat-Gazette story that blasted him for touting the record so often.
However, Martin remains unconcerned with the criticism, stating, “I don’t have a thick skin, I have dragon scales.”
More in tomorrow’s News-Times.